This is reality: Master Fine Art 2022 Graduation Exhibition

This is reality: Master Fine Art 2022 Graduation Exhibition

Piet Zwart Institute

Installation view, “This is reality: 2022 MFA Graduation Exhibition,” UBIK Theater, Rotterdam, July 9–16, 2022. Photo: Steven Maybury.

December 1, 2022
This is reality: Master Fine Art 2022 Graduation Exhibition
July 9–16, 2022
Showroom MAMA
Witte de Withstraat 29-31
3012 BL Rotterdam
Instagram / Facebook

Curated by Kim de Haas

This is reality and it was but a chat away

A real chat is hard to come by. Trust is in short supply. But trust is needed to get a chat going, and let it generate what may qualify as social reality.

Reality is trembling. Where desire, grief, and power are at stake, many demons populate society, pulling people together and apart. Orange letters rub up against their lavender grounds in Oliver Doe’s large canvases, boldly making viewers’ retinas vibrate as performers lingering nearby signal, to whom it appeals, a readiness to engage in the poetry of clandestinely scripted encounters. Seeds, plants, clay plate poetry for garden beds, and fermented vegetable paintings are elements Kate Price offers up as tokens of trust, inspiring a commitment to fostering future ecologies. In her paintings and videos, Shertise Solano summons the multidimensional beings her grandmother in Curaçao still knew how to converse with, and who, channeled afresh, voice unaccounted traumata and limitless powers arising from the recollected history of Black families.

Places of encounter are ripe with tensions. Grazia Gallo trusts sculpture to rebuild a sense of a home, where generations clash, as the family improvises in close quarters a state-imposed architecture of social housing, to keep spirits up, and claim dignity in everyday matters. María José Crespo takes you to the Tijuana border, and in her sculptural environments makes you feel the intensities governing a strip of land where police lights color reality red and blue on CCTV, and paths are blocked, but the will to get by asserts itself with full defiance. Meanwhile, at the Metal Exchange all things solid melt into air with a flick of a trader’s hand, as Madeleine Ruggi shows. Her installation portrays how capital puts its spell on materials, and turns heavy scrap into currency flowing through Rotterdam harbor. Tracking the current makeover of port-city real estate, Emma van Noort messes with the building blocks of model architecture: her sculptures scramble its vocabulary and recast it in the spirit of high precision slapstick engineering.

Stories build worlds. Xiaofeini Liu calls a universe into being with few objects and words, as she recounts the fate of a Mice Folk leaving their Salt Marshes in search of a Sugar Book, a taste of which was prophesied to bring bliss. Universities, like factories, once promised a future. In her paintings and performance, Andrea Celeste La Forgia commemorates the toll workers pay when that promise is broken, and the mill of wage labor grinds away time and health. La Forgia paints from photos her mother sends of her factory work, and relays her stories of everyday sabotage. A better life cannot be built unless communal mourning prepares the ground. In this key Samboleap Tol addresses displacement and death, yet also parenting and spiritual practice in her paintings and sound installation. After colonial modernities have destroyed and uprooted countless lives, she observes, restless spirits abound who must be engaged for justice to come. Across multidimensional realities, liaising with ghosts can be done, says Tol: Chat with them daily!

—Jan Verwoert

Participating Artists

Andrea Celeste La Forgia
María José Crespo
Oliver Doe
Grazia Gallo
Xiaofeini Liu
Emma van Noort
Kate Price
Madeleine Ruggi
Shertise Solano
Samboleap Tol

The Piet Zwart Institute Master Fine Art educates artists toward the fulfillment of their own creative and professional autonomy and encourages enrolled students to see themselves as agents with the potential to shape the field of international contemporary art.

Our ambition is to provide our students with a challenging, supportive and responsive learning environment and a curriculum that offers the creative structure and committed resources they need to develop their individual and collective senses of artistic purpose and agency. We recognize the inherent diversity of perspectives, methods, practices and channels of dissemination that are available to contemporary artists today. We strive to meet our diverse students wherever they are in their artistic trajectories. We offer them critical guidance and opportunities for experimentation and growth in their research and practice, leading to personal and professional validation. We motivate our students to sustain their artistic research and practice while navigating a highly competitive, economically uncertain and deeply evaluative field. We nurture the individuated, eclectic, imaginative approaches of individual artists while familiarizing them with the strongly networked, institutionalized, linked, collaborative and collective realities that shape how art is defined and received in the wider culture. And we help them situate the contemporary relevance of their research and practice and create contexts for its exposure (display, publication, performance, etc.).

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Piet Zwart Institute
December 1, 2022

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